tv Headline News RT January 17, 2014 6:00am-6:30am EST
president obama set to deliver a speech on the n.s.a. surveillance methods as many question whether the government is ready to limit the agency's spying reach. the syrian government's as it once to team up was a moderate opposition factions against the jihadists that statement coming just days ahead of the geneva two peace conference. and foreign secretary william hague has north to try and convince scotland not to go it alone with an independence referendum eight months away. what you are to get a national coming to you live from moscow i'm marina joshing now millions of those
who are concerned over the extent to which they have been watched by america's national security agency are now waiting to hear from the country's president and he is expected to announce much anticipated changes to the way the agency works but it's unclear how far the reforms will go argue some sacks reports from washington d.c. today president obama heads to the department of justice just a few blocks from here and he'll deliver a speech on n.s.a. reforms specifically what he supports from the forty six recommendations his own review panel put forward a few weeks ago the president is expected to devote a large portion of his speech to the privacy concerns of non-u.s. citizens and businesses basically trying to assure foreign consumers that their privacy will be protected when they communicate using american tech companies like google and yahoo now you may remember when it was disclosed that allied world leaders like brazilian president dilma rousseff were spied on by the n.s.a. the president was quick to order a review of that program but the president has not shown the same concern for tens
of millions of non u.s. citizens in germany and brazil and france who are also being spied on. so there's a high likelihood that he will finally tackle that issue today now the big question is what happens to the most controversial n.s.a. program revealed by edward snowden and that's the n.s.a.'s bulk telephone metadata collection program the president could order an end to that program right now you could do it today if you wanted to and he wouldn't need congress's approval instead the president is expected to introduce some limited reforms to the bulk collection program and then take it to congress to have the final say on whether or not it should continue the president's speech they will set up a fight on capitol hill between lawmakers cozy with the surveillance state and lawmakers pushing to substantially reform it ultimately though a lot of what happens to the n.s.a. moving forward is out of the president's hands the courts are weighing in on the constitutionality of these programs and in congress the patriot act which underpins many of the n.s.a. surveillance programs expires on june first of next year and it's unlikely the
votes are there anymore to extend the more controversial parts of it so you can think of the president's speech as him reaching out to congress to save at least some of these spy programs that he is spy chiefs have been defending before those same programs are completely dismantled by the courts or congress next year in washington d.c. sam sachs r t well just one radical campaigner for government accountability does not believe that any of the anticipated changes will make a genuine difference. so far what has been telecast through government leaks look a lot like a lot of cosmetic changes in other words it does not appear that the president will be reigning in the largest controversy with this probably the bulk collection of american data nor will he be adopting any recommendation to
house and store that data in for example a telephone company rather than five anational security agency again i think a lot of these changes are are really discuss magic and they're contrary to what his own internal review panel recommended and yes democratic congressman rush holt is more optimistic than when he told us about a bill that he proposed for reining in the n.s.a. it does several things it grants whistleblower protection to members of the intelligence community it would prevent the n.s.a. or any similar agency from installing back doors into hardware or software the bill would also remove the justification that the n.s.a. has invoked for seizing the metadata of virtually everyone saying that they will treat it with care and we won't abuse people's civil liberties
unless we suspect that we don't want those who are doing the surveillance to be the very same ones who decide who the bad guys are now spying on the whole world doesn't come cheap but the actual figures as well as much else in the field of intelligence are top secret leaked information however has revealed that the so-called black budget amounted to fifty two point six billion dollars for two thousand and thirteen fiscal year out of that pie over tan billion went to the n.s.a. its funding as grown by a staggering fifty three percent since two thousand and four yet sources say terrorist attacks in methods only involve annecy surveillance seven point five percent of the time or just vanished account looks into the agency's effectiveness . for years the u.s. government had been hiding its dragnet surveillance of entire nations under the national security rug in fear of another nine eleven americans had no idea of just how pervasive the government spying program became but following edward snowden's
revelations lice came to the surface does the n.s.a. collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans no sir. we know of at least. fifty threats that have been averted because of this information. there is only one case where this was useful somebody somebody thought eighty five hundred dollars to somalia to an al qaeda affiliate not to be encouraged but even in that case the government wait of two months to investigate this case so you know the idea that this is kind of critical to stopping terrorism is overblown public policy group the new america foundation has analyzed hundreds of terrorism related cases and says traditional investigative methods such as the use of informants in tips work best.
the n.s.a. sweeping surveillance did nothing to prevent the bombings in boston last year even despite multiple tips from abroad concerning one of the perpetrators the president's own surveillance policy review board has concluded the n.s.a. bulk data collection was quote not essential to preventing attacks the head of the n.s.a. was eventually pressed to admit that the government had exaggerated the effectiveness of the program would you grant the fifty four cases you keep getting cited by the administration or not all plots how the verge of all of my thirteen and some nexus of us do you agree with that yes or no. yes the obama administration found itself in hot water when edward snowden revealed that the n.s.a. was busy spying on allies and trading partners and not just terrorists the n.s.a. has built a vast new center you talk to store people's private data and much of it will have nothing to do with terry's what we're doing is said to catering to tele tarion
procedures which is gathering information about all the individuals in the world. thousands have been taking to the streets to protest against what they see is their government becoming big brother when in the wake of nine eleven the patriot act are for the an end to privacy many americans thought at least they'd be safe but with recent revelations even that tradeoff is on the question in washington i'm going to check out our take. so now to our web site to learn more about america's surveillance efforts and get expert analysis on what u.s. spying means for the rest of the world and of course we'll bring you more on president obama's upcoming speech later today here on our team international. policy and government says it's ready for a limited ceasefire with the rebels and the prisoner swap the foreign minister has even proposed cooperating with a more moderate opposition groups against radical islamist and he raised those
issues at a meeting in moscow with his russian counterpart sergei lavrov well let's now discuss the latest developments with the syrian president's top adviser was saying thanks so much miss siobhan for joining us here in r.t. to talk about the situation well it looks like the ball now is in the opposition court so how do you expect them to react to the proposals the offers from damascus . what we expected to die from the beginning and book we expect now. put out to put the interest of the food and people of syria of a better thing out of the. about to syria. to play into the engine the father parties who are actually from the beginning of the crisis they have been really intent on destroying syria the institution so much kidnapping them killing so we don't want to look back what we want to do is to try and save people from so
many massacres from so much blood should try and see the light at the end of the tunnel and that would depend of course on you know how the parties different parties involved in solving the syrian conflict conflict cooperate with the charter and of course the syrian national council is one of such parties at this point as they seem to be divided and don't even seem to be decided in fact whether to conference the geneva two conference or not why do you think there is so much division was in down i think the division come from because of the these parties first of all they have and they have been living outside of course so many years they are kind of. you know the whole do not know what the syrian people are going through and second i think because of the source
of finance i think many of them out receiving finances from different parties but anyone who lives with the syrian people who want the interest of the syrian people to be above the thing as would give the most priority to stopping this patters that is this throwing the lives of the state and people causing that death of women and children on causing that destruction on food and infrastructure and so i believe it's a question of what is the one the power to is it the fear that people and syria and its territorial integrity. oh is it some personal interest being an ally for other forces whole of the us that are from the beginning that crisis want to destroy syria while the syrian government is offering a cease fire in a lab now why it now couldn't it couldn't have been done earlier if i if i may quote act it's not the ceasefire because this is far. between two armies or
two people it's a kind of security and range of months because. russia. and the u.s. have announced in paris to out what they would like to do is to have it kind of pilot purchase if you want but why now well because we are approaching engine a bow we are trying to reach a political solution for the crisis that we have been trying for all of these years in order to stop the bloodshed and the killing and to initiate a political protest by on why was this approach try to earlier down a little more than it a lot of people from being where if you remember about one love agreed upon on the thirtieth of june two thousand and twelve but it is as other the opposition and the contras and the forces who are supporting the opposition who plan must reach an
agreement i mean even now no it would be a position says we will decide today or tomorrow or after to morrow whether we go to geneva two while the syrian government has announced a month ago the names of ships that legation that is ready to go to geneva because we live in syria we can't for the syrian people want to end the bloodshed in syria that is because we are responsible people but i for the others i don't know what their priorities are going to serve them that the saying is as we have just and so we have early or established that there are a lot of parties involved and the solution to the cries. this will depend on what they will offer and the suggestions that they put to the table specifically the west and said that there is no place for us it in syria's future so that's their position do you think washington is likely to soften their stance less energy and mad through at tension and the attention of washington probably that there is
something through the kitchen and a lot they said and now and because they accepted a new one you never mind says that everything in between the parties have to be a bike one something this means that the syrian part is getting the confidence have to agree on the steps to be made and thus the us cannot say that i have no future because this is going to do new one and it is contradictory to what mr love it over and that minister of upon the fifth of june two thousand and five on the basis of which everybody is going to geneva two all right also syria has accused the us of supporting terrorists in syria but what is the avid and and what is the evidence that damascus is basing these accusations on this came as a response to what john kerry and the foreign minister said in kuwait saying that
city and government is destroying schools and hospitals we are to provide evidence because i think that one who opts out of the is ation have to provide the evidence you know city on has been one of their countries and the word to have a free indication of free medical health service we fight so hard to keep our institution and would complain to the word about that there is destroying hospitals and schools so it is absolutely ironic and so unbelievable that some of the should say that the syrian government is the one who was destroying the school and. they should come up with an evidence when they upped that an accusation and the acquisition of thirst directed to us we are asking them to put it at them. well as we see our disappoint syrian opposition is divide it and there are different in fact groups that coal themselves opposition among them there are some that are
moderate and russia has said moderate opposition groups within the warzone should also be invited to the peace talks what about the position of the syrian government on this i mean has a syrian government been in negotiation with those moderate groups to get them involved when we have many mother to groups in syria we have about the twenty a position of political parties but unfortunately they night that nation did not invite and over them by the way i'm not here to further in front of the show just that much more than a total although it has been portrayed by sort of that a b r and by then i think that this is moderate income part of. two months that are they are all in the same board they all. kids now up destroy institutions what we had to think to is a political a position both in syria and out there who should be invited me back to.
the north of the curfew that they have put inviting position people in the back to i think you have to direct from question the left that they were and ask them what that meant by thing food in a position to. all right and finally before we let you go shut up i'd like to ask you another question about the chemical weapons and how the process of destroying the chemical stockpiles in syria has is going in fact you know the global chemical weapons watchdog says syria may not be able to meet the june deadline so why is it that. the syrian. process is sort of not meeting this deadline or there is a possibility of not meeting. i think they said they may no be able you know. so they did say it's not meeting that line i think that national organizations are
acknowledging that syria is it trying its best with the help of pressure of course also try its best to meet that line to get rid of chemical weapons as as we as we promised and believe and as we said but the problem is that there are some. leaks that are being given to terrorist groups inside syria who are tired of getting the chemical cargo on their way through to the sea and therefore i think the forces who are leaking this information should stop leaking this information and syria has always been a country that has honor its word and its agreement and its signature and we've just been in a meeting with mr said we told him that we are absolutely ready to coordinate our efforts with that a shot day by day in order to fulfill our commitments. in getting rid
of this chemical weapons as we as we promised that we shall we will but none placenta the media you know they promote so many. so many false things as they did on that one person of august two thousand and thirteen accusing the three. the government if you think i might go to welcome now even that report you know the scholar of cia a bit about they have acknowledged outlaws a lie about love unfounded and poor mission to this the government all the time the information has to come from different sources for now though as here in a presidential advisor it was a no siobhan thank you so much for sharing your views with us here on r t international thank you very much and we'll still have for you this hour here on our to international the farmers living under constant fear of violence. it's written to us with their lives and that they were right with them to go to work for the door to. our correspondent here is from white south africans who say
. welcome back you're watching r.t. international the people of scotland have eight months left to decide whether to split from the u.k. and london is making its concerns clear with britain's minister for euer of warning that an independent scotland would not get an easy pass into the european union foreign secretary william hague is also determined to keep the scots in the fold details now from. u.k. foreign secretary william hague is in glasgow today to outline the case for why
scotland should stay within the united kingdom. say the latest scotland analysis papers which are a response to scotland's white paper which came out last november and propagated voting yes in the referendum in september now the analysis today is doing the direct opposite and it's focusing on the breath and the u.k.'s diplomatic networking just how much scotland currently benefits from it so take for example business based in scotland they say that it benefits directly from efforts to protect the u.k.'s economic interests like defending the world famous squad whiskey against counterfeits against excessive taxation and against trade barriers but the battle from both the yes and the no is really heating up in the run up to the referendum in september and we've had accusations of propaganda war being waged from both sides of the barricades certainly critics of westminster have accused the
british government of fear mongering in order to secure a no vote to come september but let's take a listen to what the minister for europe said about scotland's independence bid just yesterday first of all of scotland quits walks it leaves behind all that it gets as part of the united kingdom not just about membership of the e.u. the un security council the commonwealth the g eight the g twenty but in very concrete terms we've got this very large international network of embassies and high commissions around the world to promote scottish business including things like scotch whiskey scottish agricultural produce and beef and so on. the analysis on bail today goes as far as your minding thoughts about the relatively modern day in pleasures that they currently enjoy as british citizens such as consular services when they travel abroad but we know that westminster is better together campaign is really stepping up the fight for the union and sort of forming the
scots with pleas to stay in the united kingdom from english celebrities prominent business figures and sports stars but in reality scottish independence is quite a remote possibility according to the latest polls just twenty six percent of scots plan on voting yes come september so the war of words on both sides is sunny hostin are going to be watching as it progresses in the run up to the historic vote on the eighteenth of september south africa's government has vowed to tackle violent crime a problem that it says poses an equal threat for all races living in the country many white farmers see things differently though and say they're living under constant fear of attack policy or hears their side of the story. is fixing his fins last night burglars again trying to break into his farm two weeks ago they
stole equipment after killing six of his horses they threatened us with their lives in the rape with them to get away from the daughter. of the police and they've done nothing about it for thirteen years with he has lived here in south africa the successful farmer grew and sold horse feed but three months ago he gave it up the constant harassment that he's convinced is coming from some of his former black farm laborers had simply become too much in fact last week. not far from you and she said to the him well if you want to just use a condom and they boil the key to the board daughter. back. because i think they they saw that she was not afraid. farm killings in south africa have hit record highs according to genocide watch in the last twenty years since nelson mandela's african national congress has been in power more than four thousand white farmers have been killed but ten times that number of white south africans have been
brutally murdered in what many claim of racially motivated attacks an hour's drive from willy's farm and cornelius mill has been farming cattle and maize for nearly forty years he's convinced the killings are part of a systematic bid to drive white south africans and in particular farmers out of the country he's paid the ultimate price his daughter vanessa was shot dead on his farm . a lot for. living with. and it took her gun which are used to short the thirty three year old was killed in front of her two small children from the years where i really think the former these really old farmers was good of the way i mean the government is saying that every day they're going to take the forms because restoril of the ruling a.n.c.
has dismissed such claims pointing out that south africans of all colors suffer violent crime i don't. belong to all who live image. both black and white and there's never been an intention to victimize rides and the vision in the mission of the south african police service is to protect everybody any citizen but the recent passing of nelson mandela who devoted his life to be consolingly races has seen white nerves shoot up personally i think it's going to get worse. because they were scared for you if true it's a sad legacy for a man who devoted his life to building a rainbow nation and the unfortunate reality is that south africa is still a very racially divided country there's a huge discrepancy between the haves who tend to be white citizens and the have nots who tend to be blacks who live in townships like this one. r.t. south africa. and added we follow the most memorable moments in
a long as torch relay in the history of the olympics on the road. the majority of congress are now millionaires for the first time in history according to the center for responsive politics which sounds pretty insulting when the average american is not doing so well financially this seems bad like a bunch of rich guys rule the country which they kind of do but one could argue that congress isn't rich enough first off due to inflation a billion dollars is not as much as it used to be a special in the cost of a campaign to get in the congress costs around one million six hundred thousand dollars so yeah a million dollars of net worth may sound pretty rich to you or me but the expensive game of us politics these guys can't even afford the costs related to getting the work electoral campaigns are
a big money affair so it is no surprise that people like you or me can't get into the law making business without selling at least a little piece of our souls to someone who has very deep pockets so again the problem isn't that congressmen are wealthy it is that many of them have to get constant financing in order to maintain their positions and as you average folks know once you're in debt they've got you by the throat well that's just my opinion . it was supposed to be just another news or of course although admittedly for a special occasion it was one hundred twenty three days before the start of the winter olympic games in sochi and i was in greece for the lighting of the olympic flame the ruins of the limpia one of the most famous monuments of ancient greece the site of the very first olympic games where stones like this.